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Retribution for a Crime Unsolved: An English/Shakespearean Sonnet

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John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.

A Sonnet by Any Other Name

I wrote this poem as an example of how to write an English/Shakespearean Sonnet. I am by no means an expert on sonnets having only written three, however, I have studied the guidelines and I think this meets them all.

Many sonnets seem to use love or heartbreak as a theme, but for some strange reason my sonnets seem to delve into the dark side of my psyche and all have crime or suspense as their theme. This one "Retribution for a Crime Unsolved" is no exception.

The Most Famous Sonnet Ever Written

English Sonnet: Basic Rules

English Sonnets are a form of poetry that was created during the renaissance. English sonnets consist of 14 lines; three, four line stanzas accompanied by a two line closing stanza. The rhyming scheme for an English Sonnet is:


This means that the first and third lines of each four line stanza rhyme and the second and fourth lines of each four line stanza rhyme. The two lines of the closing stanza should rhyme as well.

Each line of the stanza should have no more and no less than ten syllables.

Retribution for a Crime Unsolved

Without a clue, I could not solve the crime,

I had to search for further evidence.

To find the killer I’d devote my time,

Cold murder is a capital offense.

But where to turn to find the clue I need?

Sometimes it is the place you least expect.

Amazed at what someone will do for greed,

For human life, they show no real respect.

And even though the victim is now gone,

I will not stop until I have my man,

Ensuring that the law is handed down.

In retribution the best way I can.

But finally I solved this murder case,

DNA found upon the victim's face.

Original Closing Stanza

The original two line closing stanza was:

"But sadly this murder remains unsolved,

A cold case now and filed as “UNRESOLVED.”

However, I felt this didn't effectively add closure to the case or perfectly reflect the poem's title. My good friend manatita confirmed those feelings and offered some helpful tips. Thanks for your help bro. I hope you like what I came up with from your suggestions.